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Last updated: 05 June, 2006 - Published 22:24 GMT
 
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Coalition blues in Montserrat
 
Dr Lowell Lewis
Chief Minister Lewis was the only successful candidate for his party
Montserrat’s new Chief Minister, Lowell Lewis claims there was a last minute scuppering of a proposed coalition agreement.

Dr Lewis explained the failure to secure an all-inclusive government, bringing together all winning parties in last week's elections.

He told BBC Caribbean that the Movement for Change and Prosperity (MCAP) had been unwilling to support him as Chief Minister.

Dr Lewis eventually secured the support of the three New People's Liberation Movement (NPLM) candidates and the independent candidate David Brandt.

With none of the three political parties securing an outright mandate in Wednesday’s poll, negotiation had been the order of the day.

Lewis - popular vote

“He (Mr Brandt) confirmed that he had been offered the position of Chief Minister with that team (MCAP) but had indicated that he would rather support me since I had the popular vote,” Chief Minister Lewis said.

Dr Lowell Lewis got the most votes of all the candidates but was the only member of his Montserrat Democratic Party (MCP) to be elected.

From the nine seats up for grabs, the opposition MCAP led by Roselyn Cassell-Sealy had secured four seats.

The incumbent NPLM led by former Chief Minister John Osborne had lost its majority and held on to three seats.

Regular ash eruptions have left only one part of the island habitable

Voter turnout was high

Turnout was high in Wednesday's poll. Of the 3,230 registers voters, 2,459 or 76 per cent cast valid ballots.

The MDP's Lowell Lewis led the personal vote tally with 1,248.

Nine seats at stake

3,230 voters voted from among twenty-nine candidates.

The island's population had been depleted by more than two-thirds since the Souffriere Hills volcano started erupting in 1995.

It last erupted again just over two weeks ago.

Voters cast their ballots at polling stations scattered throughout the inhabited safe zone in the northern tip of the island.

Montserrat previously had a constituency-based first-past-the-post electoral system.

 
 
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